Picture this: It’s October 6, 1990, 31 seconds remain in the college football match-up between Big Eight rivals, the Colorado Buffaloes and the Missouri Tigers. Colorado is down 26-31. First down: Colorado quarterback Charles Johnson spikes the ball onto the ground to stop the clock. Second down: Johnson hands off on a plunge and the ball carrier runs up the middle but fails to score. Third down: Another plunge play, no score. Fourth down: Repeat: a plunge, no score. Fifth down: Johnson holds on to the ball and dives over the goal line for a touchdown. Colorado wins 33-31.
Wait a minute … fifth down?! Since when are those allowed? The officials apparently lost count of the downs, but they refused to correct their mistake and continued the game an error that is perhaps even more embarrassing than the original flub. Missouri’s chancellor, Haskell Monroe Jr., said it was “incomprehensible” that seven officials could not count to four. Seven Big Eight officials were suspended as a result of the infamous down.